Turkey Monster on Red Bull Adventure

herndon_ben_tmonster

Wayne Wallace looks out over the Turkey Monster, a 350+ foot four-pitch spire at the Menagerie in central Oregon. The formation is the free-standing remnant of ancient lava tubes and is climbed usually only once a year because of the loose rock. The pictured northeast route, the Dod Route, is normally just an aid climbing route because of the volatile nature of the rock. Looking like fingers above the Turkey Monster In the distance are the Bunny Ears spires.

A photo essay on a surreal climb in the woods of Oregon is up on Red Bull Adventure. Read about the awesome Turkey Monster on Red Bull Adventure by clicking here.

 

Will Gadd on Red Bull Adventure

Will Gadd

Will Gadd taking over 1st place at the 2013 Arc’teryx Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival.

Excited to see this high-emotion image of Will Gadd up on Red Bull Adventure! It’s paired with a cool play-by-play by Will about the excitement and challenges of competition climbing. It’s an especially good read if you don’t climb because it gets you inside of the mind of one of those “crazy wall monkeys”.

Check it out at: http://www.redbull.com/en/adventure/stories/1331628934016/gadd-ice-climbing-bozeman

Instawhat? Ben Herndon Photography is on Instagram

http://instagram.com/donofhern

http://instagram.com/donofhern

I joined Instagram a few months ago eager to change the world with nostalgic, high-contrast, sepia-toned post-workout selfies and grainy, vignetted images of half-eaten plates of unappetizing food.

Instead I began posting a mostly random array of outdoor and adventure imagery from past and present trips, as well as the occasional microbrew pic. If that sounds like your cup of tea then do follow me with your mobile device at http://instagram.com/donofhern. #usernamebenherndonwasalreadytaken

instagram

tandem_logo_SM_black

10 REASONS WHY TANDEM IS HOT  (AND WHY YOU SHOULD GIVE THEM YOUR WHOLE ARCHIVE)

A few years ago I was looking into options for my mostly-stagnant photo archive which was gathering digital dust in a Jenga-ed tower of different shaped external hard drives in my closet. After getting a few replies from major stock agencies about how they would love to give me the “honor” of being a royalty-free contributor (explanation of royalty-free vs. rights-managed images for the curious), I had mostly written off stock usage as a greedy capitalist d-bag’s plot to make wads of cash off of the struggling artist/photographer.

A couple weeks after getting another we-like-your-photos-and-want-to-make-money-off-them-but-not-for-you e-mail from Aurora, my friend, Bennett Barthelemy, told me about a brand new agency called Tandem Stills + Motion that was promoting outdoor, adventure, travel, and lifestyle imagery. Basically, everything I love in life. Wary, about submitting to a young company, I asked Bennett (who had been with Tandem for their first few months of existence) “Do I give them my ‘meh’ stuff or the stuff I like?” “Give them everything”, he said. So I did. It’s three years later and working with Tandem Stills + Motion just keeps getting better. Here’s some reasons why you should give them your whole archive.

1. Respect

And by “respect” I mean “dollar bills”. Tandem isn’t your daddy’s stock agency. 50/50 splits on all sales mean you actually get paid for consistently producing strong work with detailed captions and keywords. So the term “royalty-free” goes in the shitter where it belongs and you as a contributor get to hold on to a little pride and spending lettuce.

2. Transparency

Tandem has no closed doors to speak of. Regular in-depth newsletters and year-end numbers reports keep contributors in the know on growth, trends, and news. Even more rad is the fact that both the sales department (JP Harrison) and the CEO (Ian Shive) are almost constantly reachable by phone or e-mail. It’s rare for me not to hear back from one of them within a few hours of correspondence.

3. Streamlined

Everything about Tandem is efficient. The staff is small, highly-motivated, and friendly. Their content management system is sleek, clean and easy to use for both contributors and clients.

4. In house

Sticking by their unofficial “photographers first” mantra, Tandem refuses to license through third parties and fall into the Inception-like dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream diminishing royalties trap that overreaching corporate stock agencies lend themselves to. Every licensing deal goes through one man — the tanned, laid-back, surfer face of Jon Paul Harrison, Tandem’s always-hustling marketing guru. The result is higher overall royalties per use and a more fulfilling contributor experience from beginning to end.

5. High standards

Tandem doesn’t just accept everything. Which is great. Discerning photo and video edits may initially mean lower volume and a few content holes for clients, but it also means consistent high overall quality, which, in the end is better for everyone. Solid peer images bring in more client traffic, which means more eyes on everyone’s images. Seth Casteel’s underwater doggie photos going viral? Hell yeah. Great for Seth, great for Tandem!

6. Innovative

Cell phone cases with contributor images. Bam.

7. L.A. based (so you don’t have to be)

There are few marketing Meccas bigger than Los Angeles. The Tandem headquarters is in  the prime location for getting traction with some of the biggest editorial and commercial clients in the world. That means you can live and shoot in the places you love without having to make the token move to Hollywood to get noticed. Though stopping in for a beer and some sun every once and a while doesn’t hurt.

8. Cool factor

There’s only one thing better than having genuine friends, and that’s having genuine, good-looking friends. CEO Ian Shive and Executive Director of Sales/Development JP Harrison are friendly, driven and good-looking, and despite 40 years of overzealous post-modern child rearing, the reality is yes, looks aren’t the end-all, but they really effing help, especially when it comes to marketing.  Also, the Tandem logo is often confused with the pi (π) symbol, which could potentially get you into some pretty good frat parties.

9. It’s easy

You don’t need a degree from Brooks to become a Tandem contributor. You just have to produce strong work.

10. They don’t sleep

It’s a tough industry to make a buck in. The trade is more accessible than ever, competition is high and everyone and their mum thinks they have the Ansel gene. But the boys at Tandem hustle like they’re on cocaine, which means even when you are out throwing elbows to get through the crowds of shooters at Delicate Arch at sunset, the chaps at Tandem are pushing your work out to clients the world over. Besides you’re not making any money or gaining notoriety by sitting on your images. So check it out. https://tandemstock.com/users/apply-for-contributor

Tandem Stills + Motion | www.tandemstock.com

 

New website at last!

New website...new horizons?

Staring dramatically into new technological horizons.

After a lot of positive feedback about my old website…(“You take good photos but your site looks like diarrhea ” or “You’re site doesn’t work on my iPad and iPhone. No worries though, it’s not like 90% of media people use portable devices nowadays.” or “That’s cool that you made that site yourself. Did you tie your shoes by yourself too? Step it up, champ.” or “You know, I think there’s probably a non-profit or something for people stuck in abusive relationships with html. You don’t have to keep going through this, man.”) …it was time for a change.

Granted it was about as impressive as the unreleased Planet Earth audio book series.

So… *speaking in raspy, everything-sounds-noteworthy, British voice* introducing Ben Herndon 2.0 complete with iDevice view-ability  big images and the awesome user-friendly DesignX interface, powered by the great people at aphotofolio.com. If you dig it click the ’like’ thumb in the bottom right to help spread the word! Thanks for all your support and feedback. It makes me happy.

To view the new site click here! www.benherndon.com

-Ben

 

Introducing the all new Black Diamond Crusader ice tool (fall 2012)

Black Diamond Crusader Ice Tool

Despite numerous safety concerns, the sleek, archaic Crusader Ice Tool is pegged for a fall 2012 release date.

07/12/2012 — For immediate release — In an attempt to woo new demographics throughout Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Iceland and Greenland, Black Diamond Equipment Inc. will be releasing their most technologically advanced ice tool to date — The BD Crusader. Renown ice climber Will Gadd endorsed the new tool saying: “Isn’t climbing equipment supposed to make the sport safer? This is the single most dangerous piece of gear I’ve ever seen. Please don’t release this to the public.”  But we know how Will likes danger! With a length of 60 cm, the sleek new medieval design incorporates a straight shaft ballistic polymer reinforced handle, able to survive 1000 foot+ drops and countless stump throwing contests. Perhaps the most innovative addition to the Crusader is the double-sided forged steel pick. With it’s Quaddra Hook technology one can now Stein pull any direction without all the frustrating hassle of rotating the tool around. And at a game-changing light weight of four pounds per tool, the Crusaders will having you wondering how you ever climbed with anything else. The Crusaders are pegged for a fall 2012 release pending a final round of testing due to concerns raised over the issue of self-decapitation.

 

BluBlockers: The cure to Seasonal Affective Disorder

Fashion Immortalized

Quietly heralded over years by less-popular social demographics such as stoners and the elderly, BluBlocker sunglasses have made a dramatic comeback in recent years thanks to the business savvy of an L.A. electronics company president and a little celebrity publicity (Actor Zach Galifianakis “The Hangover”).

“It’s like medication… for the eyes,” says BluBlocker enthusiast Cletus Whiteheart on the company’s website.

I’d go one further, Cletus. BluBlockers are an enema for the soul. A golden, UV-blocking, metaphorical enema. Especially when Old Man Winter pukes out 18 inches of snow and you are entrenched in the bowels of his precipitous indigestion.

Bart and Ian making history

Bart and Ian making fashion history

The core reason for BluBlockers effectiveness at combating seasonal depression is in the name…and the Malenium® BluRay® lenses.  The NASA-developed technology blocks all those glum shades of blue (yes, indigos too!) that make summer appear unattainable. And from early November until March, blue is usually the only color channel available for viewing pleasure if you live anywhere on a latitude north of Salt Lake City.  The immediate ability of BluBlocker lenses to jump one’s proverbial mood ring from black to orange is magic. In fact, I find the darker, gloomier, cloudier and snowier a day is, the more dramatic of an emotional lift the glasses provide. The the only down side to this acute bliss boost is that one tends to be at a heightened risk of frost bite and exposure when outdoors because even blizzards develop a cheery disposition through the amber, gradient of probably-recycled pop bottles.

The durable, plastic frames mean BluBlockers are warm to the touch during those frigid pre-dawn runs to the grocery for more Pumpernickel Rubschlager Cocktail Bread (“the offical sponsor of holiday parties“. The all-around cheap components also mean they are mere pennies to make, a savings that is sort of passed on to you (especially if you compare their cost to other price-gouging plastic brands such as Oakley).

So if you’ve had enough of the gloom and grey, prescribe yourself a little happiness. At least until spring. Then it’s like looking through a vomitous hue of urine. www.blublocker.com

Thanks to Ian, Bart and Sasha for modeling.

Bart and Sasha

 

lens envy: what I love about climbing pimpographers...er...photographers

Behind every photo of ripped, glistening pieces of cooked chicken voodooing their way up ungodly-steep inclines on holds too small for a hummingbird to shit on is an artist with a crazy perspective and a passion for making hardcore people look even more hardcore. They are the pimpographers of climbing. The following is a list of some of climbing’s raddest shuttergicians and why they are so sick.

Keith Ladzinski www.ladzinski.com
Keith Ladzinski.  His name is a sentence. The man continues to amaze me with his ability to harness light in crazy ways without compromising the beauty of the natural surroundings. He’s like the Thomas Kinkade of climbing photography, without the emphasis on quaint English cottages, friendly winter landscapes, and DUIs.

Ben Moon www.benmoon.com
The more familiar you become with Ben Moon’s simple and awesome portraits of climbers, the more you’ll realize just how pervasive they are in the climbing world.  I think his black and white head shot of Steve House has been published more times than that National Geographic pic of the Afghan girl with those crazy googly eyes. I hope Moon collects royalties on that photo until he’s 80 because it’s a great shot, and because sometimes a good portrait speaks louder than than any shot of a climb (which he also gets amazing results from).

Jimmy Chin www.jimmychin.com
Renan Ozturk
renanozturk.sites.livebooks.com
On top of being amazing athletes in their own right, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk have become artesian wells of stunning stills and video. Jimmy floats down vertical faces on skis and Renan floats up them on crampons. There’s a reason the Camp 4 Collective keeps rolling out on bazillion dollar North Face budgets to the far corners of the world. Because very few professionals can can get there and back alive with the quality of material that they consistently do. Renan is also an amazing sketch artist and painter (and no DUIs!).

Boone Speed www.boonespeed.com
Boone Speed climbs as hard as he shoots.  If I climbed 5.14s I guarantee I’d getter better angles and be invited to better parties. I cut the hem off of Chris Sharma’s shirt last Outdoor Retailer. It’s been in my chalk bag ever since but no signs of levitation.

Simon Carter www.onsight.com.au
It wouldn’t bode well for John Wayne if he and Simon Carter somehow got into a lassoing match, especially if Wayne is afraid of heights. Carter is simply a master tactician when it comes to rope handling. I’ve read that the man sometimes spends two or three days rigging up a spider web of static lines from multiple high points to get the wicked perspectives he always seems to.

Andrew Burr www.andrewburr.com
Andrew Burr must have more charisma than Hitler. It seems like every time I approach an outdoor company about shots Burr has already quietly and suavely put them in his pocket. I’ve actually started to use his name as verb amongst friends. “What?! No more PBRs?!” “Yeah, sorry dude, you just got Burred.” The man also cranks out phenomenal work.

Jim Thornburg www.jimthornburg.com
James Q. Martin
www.jamesqmartin.com
Jim Thornburg and James Q. Martin, thanks for leading the way back when you had to be technically sound, because film doesn’t lie.

Nathan Smith www.pullphotography.com
It’s gotta be hard to make a name for yourself when it’s the most common last name in the western world.

This list is in no way comprehensive because I sometimes live under a rock and because new talent pop up like daisies with every new issue of Alpinist, Climbing and Rock & Ice. Corey Rich and Cory Richards should both be on this list for their amazing contributions but I couldn’t think of anything witty to say about them. If you haven’t, spend hours checking out the links to the above artists, because you will. All these artists are phenomenal so follow them on whatever social media cults they prescribe to.